When you buy a house, for most people, it is usually on a freehold basis. To come across a leasehold house is extremely rare.
For tenants who have bought their house on a leasehold basis there may be a right to buy the freehold of their house under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Development Act 1967 (the 1967 Act) providing the tenant and the building qualify.
- In order to qualify, your building must be considered a house and be divided vertically from any adjoining house.
- The lease must be a long lease which was originally granted for a term of 21 years or more; and
- You must be the registered proprietor of the property at the Land Registry for at least two years before serving your notice.
Why buy the freehold?
- Owning the freehold is considered more attractive than just owning the leasehold title and will increase the value of your property. This is particularly important now as we are in the wave of leasehold reforms.
- You will have more control of the management of your property.
- No ground rent.
Who can help you with this?
Enfranchising the freehold of a house via the 1967 Act is a tricky area which few conveyancers have come across. Not only that, there are various aspects that your legal advisor will need to consider such as whether you qualify and, strangely, if your house is a house under the 1967 Act. In addition there are the statutory deadlines which need to be complied with. If you lose sight of these you may lose your right to buy the freehold. The 1967 Act is a complicated process with difficult valuation principles. Therefore, it is crucial that you also instruct an experienced surveyor to assist. We work with a number of surveyors and can put you in touch with someone who will be able to help.
We are a specialist team with expert knowledge of this niche area and will be able to guide you every step of the way as we have done for others undertaking this exercise. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information and guidance. We would be delighted to help.